This Saturday morning I was back at the Beaumont Leys School spending the time before lunch with other volunteers setting up this Autumn's NCT Nearly New Sale in Leicester. This sale is amazing show of organisation ran by marvellous women who have steely professionalism, even if this is not their job. The forms have been filled, the room layouts planned, the seller lists in plays and furniture moved in the halls by the morning of the sale - like every year. The the sellers arrive and everything starts to roll.
I with the others was emptying boxes with seller numbers and putting soft toys, baby walkers, jigsaw puzzles and musical instruments into their place. For an archaeologist, this provides an opportunity to reflect on categorisation and classification. Is a book with buttons for different noises an educational toy or baby book? Is a battery-powered fairy wand an item of fancy clothing or a toy? And where does one put an oven guard? With bed guards? With equipment?
Although Number One Son is even no toddler any more but a small school boy, I could still pick up a few bargains in volunteers' pre-sale; I was uncertain if I managed to get anything. However, I picked up beaver trousers for my beaver, black school shoes for £1.50, a new umbrella and sea-themed bed linen among the bits and bobs. All was only £12 even if there were winter boots included. Of course, I forgot that I had picked up boots in the sales already in the spring... The lure of real or imagined bargains!